A pair of Democratic state lawmakers in Tennessee this week launched a invoice to legalize each medical marijuana and adult-use hashish within the state. The invoice, often called the “Free All Hashish for Tennesseans Act” (HB0085), was launched within the Home by Consultant Bob Freeman—supported by fellow Democrat Senator Heidi Campbell—on Tuesday.
“This invoice will help medical and leisure hashish use as a result of many different states have already got leisure use,” Campbell said in an announcement quoted by native media.
Invoice Legalizes Possession Of Up To 60 Grams Of Weed
If handed, the invoice would legalize the possession, use, and transportation of as much as 60 grams of marijuana or as much as 15 grams of hashish concentrates for adults aged 21 and older. The measure additionally legalizes the house cultivation of as much as 12 hashish crops by adults in a safe location at house. Beneath the invoice, mother and father and authorized guardians would even be permitted to manage medical hashish merchandise to their minor youngsters with a health care provider’s authorization.
“It’s a full legalization of hashish throughout the state,” Freeman noted in an announcement final month.
The invoice additionally legalizes industrial hashish exercise and duties the Tennessee Division of Agriculture with drafting rules to control the cultivation, processing, and sale of hashish and hashish merchandise within the state. The measure notes that greater than three dozen states have legalized marijuana in some kind and that Tennessee ought to observe go well with “to be able to stay aggressive nationally and globally within the burgeoning hashish business.” The lawmakers additionally word that authorized hashish is available in 5 states that border Tennessee.
“If folks can drive throughout the border to Indiana to get hashish, then it doesn’t make any sense that we in Tennessee could be lacking out on that financial benefit,” Campbell mentioned.
Tennessee Nonetheless Prohibits All Marijuana
Tennessee is among the few states which have but to go laws to legalize marijuana, even for medicinal use. Freeman mentioned that legalizing leisure marijuana would put an finish to the disproportionate enforcement of legal guidelines that prohibit the possession and use of hashish.
“For those who dwell in a rich a part of the state and a rich group in our metropolis, and also you get picked up utilizing some hashish for private consumption, the chances of you getting a slap on the wrist and nothing occurring is fairly excessive,” he mentioned final month. For those who dwell in a poorer neighborhood and also you get picked up with hashish, you’re going to jail.”
Authorized Pot Obtainable In Neighboring States
Three states bordering Tennessee—Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama—have legalized medical marijuana, whereas neighboring Missouri and Virginia have legalized each medical marijuana and adult-use hashish. Proponents of legalization argue that Tennessee is lacking out on tax income from the cash residents spend on hashish in neighboring states.
“Let’s not delude ourselves that folks aren’t crossing the border and getting hashish from different states. In fact they’re,” Campbell mentioned. “So, that’s simply earnings we’re lacking out on.”
Tennessee Democrats Assist Legalization
Freeman and Campbell’s proposal is supported by fellow Democratic lawmakers within the Tennessee legislature. Home Democratic Caucus Chairman John Ray Clemmons praised the invoice final month after they introduced their plan to introduce the laws.
“The legalization of hashish in Tennessee is lengthy overdue. For too lengthy, a lot of the TN GOP has stood in the way in which,” Clemmons wrote in a tweet. “Let’s do that in 2023!”
Earlier makes an attempt to legalize marijuana in Tennessee have met stiff opposition from Republican lawmakers, who get pleasure from a strong majority in each the state Senate and the Home of Representatives. Republican state Senator Richard Briggs mentioned that he opposes each medical marijuana and adult-use hashish, noting the federal regulation has already made CBD authorized nationwide.
“I’m not in favor in any respect of leisure marijuana and I’ve loads of considerations about medical marijuana till we all know extra about it,” Briggs mentioned. “I don’t assume that it needs to be usually obtainable. And no less than at this level till one thing adjustments.”
Regardless of Republican opposition, Freeman charges the prospect that the Tennessee legislature will legalize marijuana this 12 months as “a strong 7, 7.5,” on a scale of 1 to 10. However Campbell expressed far much less optimism.
“Fairly low—I received’t offer you a quantity,” she mentioned, “however I’ve no delusions we’re going to go it this session.”
However Campbell added that introducing the laws continues to be necessary to maintain the dialog about hashish coverage reform shifting ahead.
“We ran it final session, and I believe it’s necessary to run it in order that we preserve the difficulty alive, we preserve the messaging going,” she mentioned. “Clearly, in some unspecified time in the future, that’s going to occur, so we’re simply going to maintain knocking on that door till someone opens it.”